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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  February 17, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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e. big boi sold sign, big boi logo. to each their home. pnc bank believes that if a pair of goggles can help your backhand get better then your bank should help you budget even better. virtual wallet® with low cash mode℠ from pnc bank. one way we're making a difference. hi there, everyone. 4:00 in the east. breaking news to tell you about. unfolding late this amp, having to do with extraordinary perhaps unprecedented new legal pressure for ex-president trump. the judge's ruling today making it official at some point in the next 21 days the former president along with two oldest children that would be donald trump jr. and ivanka, must sit for a deposition answering questions under oath part of the
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new york state civil investigation into the business practices. attorneys for trump's children released a statement signaling an appeal on their part is likely but a huge step forward in a probe largely focused on the money. those bank loans and the financial fantasyland president trump seemingly projected over the years for those loans as legal teams work through the valuations trump and the inner circle are dealing with the aftershocks of a story we brought you. perhaps rattled by being dumped by his accounting firm. it said the last ten year documents are not to be relied on as accurate. trump released a lengthy response with claims of how big the net worth really is and "the new york times" notes doesn't add up. not only does it not add up but ag james said the statement
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contradicts an argument made in realtime by trump's own lawyers. quote, trump's attorneys stated that he did not know enough to respobd to allegations of inaccurate valuations but the five-page statement got into detail of possible discrepancies and that is where we start with the favorite reporters and friends. nbc news investigations reporter all over the story tom winter is here. also "the new york times" investigative reporter david faranfol is here. and msnbc legal analyst barbara mcquaid, now law professor at university of michigan. there were fireworks. the hand signal from the judge. >> two-hour hearing this morning
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but the fact of a written ruling this afternoon so quickly after this ended i was just checking the page number, eight pages why the judge was leaning in a certain direction and obviously read the briefs carefully. i'll read it to you. >> please. >> final analysis the state attorney general commences investigating a business entity with evidence of possible fraud and wants to question under oath several principals including its name sake. she has the cleefr right to do so. that's to the judge and also took apart something that you keyed on there which was the letter this week. we talked about just moments after publicly released. and then the trump statement afterwards going through it and providing the financial statements. at the time the statement came out after your program ended that day.
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they made the argument that essentially the mazar's letter prove ds what they had been doing was a-okay. the trump organization. and that the criminal and civil investigation where the deposition is taking place is moot. the judge said that's something out of "1984." ignorance is strength and quote alternative facts. he said that the trump lawyers submitted serious, sophisticated legal arguments in support of squashing the subpoenas and said to declare that the trump statements are moot is as audacious as it is preposterous. a strongly worded order from the judge in new york state going forward. what we expect is that appeal filed to the new york state
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appellate division. it appears that this is headed towards a deposition now. if that decision is not stayed or the appellate court rules against the trump family there will be 21 days from that order coming in that trump as well as his two children ivanka and donald trump jr. have to sit down for a deposition. as far as eric trump he is deposed in this civil investigation having taken the fifth amendment or asserting the privileges over 500 times according to the attorney general. in the background is the criminal inquiry. that remains ongoing which the attorney general's office is also assisting to. that's the state of play at 4:05 on the east coast as we continue to watch these filings and proceedings. >> tom winter, attorney general james responded like this. let me read this. today justice prevailed.
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donald trump, donald trump jr. and ivanka trump ordered by the court to comply with the lawful invest into trump and the trump organization's financial dealings. no one can stand in the way of the pursuit of justice. no one is above the law. if these appeals fail how long and how fullsome is this the cooperation required to be to satisfy any sort of famed appeal? >> they just need to sit with them and answer questions. a thing that's interesting, in a normal criminal investigation, there are exceptions if you exercise the fifth amendment but barbara mcquaid is more of an expert than i am but generally over on the criminal side but on the civil side something that the judge talks about in it
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ruling they can sit for many as questions as the attorney general has and the trumps assert the fifth amendment privilege. they can do so as many times as they want. a civil jury going to a jury on the civil investigation the jury can hear how many times they asserted the privileges and to what questions. that will not come into play and cannot be discussed in any sort of criminal proceeding if we get there. that's an if. but on the civil side this has meaning and why the attorney general wanted this and potentially important to the case. >> the judge makes that point today in the hearing. the judge say this is. the target of a hybrid civil investigation cannot use the fifth amendment as a sword and a shield. a shield against questions why when they are deposed they can refuse to answer questions that they claim might incriminate and may not be used against them in
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a criminal prosecution but no unfairness to let the jurors in a civil case to draw conclusions from the refusals. tell me more about this judge. he was having none of this in the judge's words orwellian universe. trump has said publicly in interviews the wort is based on how he feels that day. >> with respect to the judge, manhattan judge, in new york state based on legal experts before this proceeding today everybody seemed to think that the odds of this to order the depositions is high. basically you have a civil matter. for all the reasons articulated by the trump side, issues with the statements prior to being attorney general or the issues with respect to the ongoing
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criminal investigation or not, at the end of the day she is entitled to take depositions in a civil investigation and the judge would have to probably go there any way. as i mentioned this eight-page ruling with the amount of case precedent represented here and clearly read the briefs, and the mazar's let every came to the conclusion that new york attorney general's office came to is this is something to explore why one thing to mention is this the end of the civil investigation process. once they are deposed if they are and lose the appellate proceedings, that will really be the end of it on the civil side. the last thing in an investigation if you can is to speak to the person that might be the target. that's what we have been told. i think this is an important
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marker not just for the fact of a deposition with the former president but also an important marker with respect to the timing of this civil investigation. how that could impact a criminal proceedings remains to be seen. i don't think that's quite so certain at this point. >> tom, you have more reporting to do. we'll free you. send up a smoke signal if you have anything new in the next two hours why thank you. >> sure thing. >> david, you know as much as anyone covering this story how badly donald trump didn't want this to happen. tell me your thoughts as this judge made abundantly clear what he thought about the urgent need in this case for the trumps to sit for depositions. >> yes. i think he's tried to avoid this and delay this and will try some
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more but i think he is running out of the time and the tricks that he'd used in the past and tried suing james to get her off the case and challenging and enough time passed that he's running out of options. the clash between the way trump has talked about the business which is nobody knows the whole business except me. the only person who sees and understands it all is me and then separately the legal argument is i'm separate from the valuations and things that the attorney general is interested in. you saw that this week with saying i know all about it and will tell you why you're wrong. they'll say how can we finish the investigation if you have everything? that puts him in a place where he is uncomfortable, the deposition chair. >> not always truthful sitting in that deposition chair,
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barbara mcquaid. i want to read from "the times" reporting on this. trump referred to a june 30, 2014, statement of financial condition by mazars usa. $5.8 billion. he declared the candidacy in 2015 he produced his summary of net worth as of june 30, 2014, with a very different number. 8.7 billion. a month later upped the ante announcing that the net worth in excess of $10 billion. this shape shifting valuations even in the face of legal peril with the decision to disavow the past financial statements get to the core of a problem for trump. he spent his lifetime bending reality to his will. it sounds like there's the
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possibility for the first time, barbara, to catch up with him. your thoughts? >> i think agree with that. you may remember that corey lewandowski a former trump campaign manager said it is not a crime to lie to the media. that is true. i think donald trump has gotten away with that for a long time but it is a crime to lie under oath as a deposition and a reason he fought so hard to avoid the deposition is this is where truth matters. the only thing he can really do is assert a privilege. the government is entitled to every man's evidence. the only thing you can do to stop it is to assert a privilege so sitting in that deposition chair as he is ordered to do and affirmed on appeal i'm sure he will have to tell the truth or
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assert a privilege and he said that's invoked by mobsters and criminals. if he lies now it does matter. >> so, barbara, explain how he undermined the argument in court with a lengthy email explaining his intimate knowledge and the discrepancies that mazars pointed out. wasn't part of the defense that he didn't bother his pretty little head with the details and then explains the details? >> he is a lawyer's nightmare client. they say shut up because you might say something that contradicts the legal strategy. if we want the strategy to be he is too busy and just knows the vision and the leader and leave it is details to other people and then with a statement saying i know the details and nobody
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knows like i do and these are the facts he is given james a real gift here to question him about this under oath and has to take a position here. these public statements he's made can be used against him. a jury can hear about this. he's spent most of his career having it both ways. avoiding speaking under oath but speaking publicly to say things that are self serving. he has to answer questions truthfully under oath or invoke his right against self incrimination. >> we know from the sworn testimony of michael cohen that this is his practice. i think it was under questions from congresswoman ocasio-cortez explaining a specific transaction. what is the process since that
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moment to corroborate that? can you take us inside this case work? >> it's been a huge amount of work. as somebody trying to find the kernel of truth i appreciate it. they talked to people like cohen within the orbit. talked to trump's accountants. they eesh building documents within the organization and the people they dealt with, account ands, lawyers to try to build the account and then compare that trump gave out saying this is the size of the assets. at the same -- compare what he said with what was real. a huge amount of work and years of effort but they seem to be confident to make trump explain
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the difference. >> i guess i ask that, barbara, it seems like an accounting firm to walk away from the voracity of ten years of financial statements and say they're not to be relied upon, i imagine they had confronted with a reality check the likes of which david is describing. >> i can imagine maybe one of two scenarios. one is the attorney general kale to them and showed them some records and some information and flabbergasted to find that the information from the trump organization is false. i think more likely a scenario where they realized that they had been perhaps willfully blind to misinformation. they approved documents saying in one year a real estate woth $200 million and then worth $400
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million. that's an enormous increase. whatever the case they reason they can't stand with donald trump and cooperating with attorney general james to provide information. we saw something similar in the trial of manafort. there was an accountant who may have been understanding and perhaps turning a blind eye. but at the end of the day a thing they said at the accounting firm was garbage in and garbage out. we can only package it in the financial documents and the real wrong doer is the person that providing the information and a thing that attorney general james will want to pin down. >> david, can you expand on
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that? it seems like anyone that watched "the apprentice" knew that garbage was coming in and anyone that saw michael cohen before congress had confirmation and no accusations by anyone in law enforcement that garbage was coming out. what is behind the decision by mazars to this week walk away from donald trump? >> i think barbara's right. they have been getting the -- folks testified under oath already. getting things from the attorney general office saying you compiled the statements but trump gave you bad information or gave you assumptions and they weren't right. the statements of financial information came with caveats. this is information that trump gave us and give it to you. we didn't check it.
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if they discover now what they were given is wrong they would say don't rely on those and that's what attorney general james is doing for the last two years is going point by point line by line through those things trying to figure out can i drill down to a concrete fact here that proves this was wrong? >> barbara, can you pull the thread forward for us? if he has to sit for the a deposition and ivanka and don jr., what is the sanction, the accountability to face if all this is proven? >> if they can prove fraud then this is a civil case that the attorney general can bring. so the consequences there could be money damages. if there are back taxes owed, if there were victims here, lenders not making the loans who lost money in the deal they have to
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pay damages. attorney general james has the power to dissolve corporations engaged in fraud. it is what happened with the trump foundation and it could happen here with the trump organization. the other thing that could happen is this information could be used in the criminal case and so when we see the manhattan d.a. investigating the very same acts under a criminal lens willing for willful intent some facts could be used there and bring with it in addition to monetary penalties potential prison time. >> wow. all right. we'll stay on it and grateful to have you both. thank you for starting us off. when we come back, the dire situation in ukraine. the biden administration bracing for the possibility of war inup. rejecting the claim of russia of de-escalation. a description of the 1/6
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attack at the capitol as legitimate into the courtrooms thanks to the plea deals for those charged. blistering words today from a judge. all those stories and more when we continue after a quick break. stay with us. k break. stay with us . i have two daughters and then two granddaughters. i noticed that memories were not there like they were when i was much younger. since taking prevagen, my memory has gotten better and it's like the puzzle pieces have all been [click] put together. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. ♪♪ three times the electorlytes and half the sugar. ♪♪ pedialyte powder packs. feel better fast.
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the most perilous moment for peace and security since the end of the cold war. that is how a senior u.s. official describing what's quickly become a dire situation in ukraine. the biden administration today rejecting claims by russia in the past few days of any
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de-escalation pointing to intelligence that shows that russia has actually moved 7,000 additional troops to the border with ukraine. here's president biden earlier today. >> we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. every indication we have is they're prepared to go in to attack ukraine. >> behind that warning by president biden that russia is looking to create a false pretext to invade a series of attacks this morning that include the shelling of a kindergarten when the government says is the work of russian-backed militias. secretary of state blinken made a strom at the united nations to make it clear to the international community that russia is on the path to war. using a tactic that the administration used again and
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again time disclosing significant intelligence on russia's plans. watch. >> we don't know how things will play out but here's what the world can expect to see unfold. russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack. this could be a violent event that russia will blame on ukraine or an outrageous accusation that russia will level against the ukrainian government. may describe it as ethnic cleansing or genocide. russian media is spreading the claims to maximize public outrage, to lay the groundwork for an invented justification for war. let me be clear ji am here today not to start a war but to prevent one. >> joining us now ben rhodes, adviser to president obama and
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retired four star general barry mccaffrey joins us. general mccaffrey, first your thoughts as to where things stand right now? >> factually it's pretty clear that the russians have put into place a sizable military force. some 60% of the total ground force. half the air power. 83 battalion teams. belarus on the eastern ukraine border and at sea. looks like the military capacity to take down ukraine is there. they have also got significant bisome accounts gru penetration inside ukraine. a couple hundred people, potentially capable of assassinations, manufacturing false riots, et cetera.
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and then finally what we're aware of is that the russians can control 60% of ukraine's fuel supply. much of the electrical energy. they're in a rough situatio. i have been looking at commercially overall satellite photography. these armory units are some covered with snow. they haven't yet moved into attack position. this is threats but not readiness to take action. >> general mccaffrey, in terms of the sort of full court press, certainly what it looks like from the outside on the diplomatic, military, boll stefring the ukrainians, what are the thoughts about the biden
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administration has sought to as everyone says putin does what putin does but in terms of their control can you give us your thoughts of that? >> i can't imagine anyone better prepared or more adept at marshalling support, informing the world inside the russian government what they're up to of getting support of nato, secretary not just to brussels and poland but the baltic states of advance deployment to indicate the resolve for article 5 protection of other nato allies. so i think they've done an excellent job. secretary blinken is credible and visible. nato is still a shaky organization. trump almost knocked it to its knees so i think germany is not
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yet there fully nor is france. but this is an excellent job in diplomacy by the biden administration. >> i want to show you something, ben rhodes, that congressman maloney said on "morning joe" today that the president addressed the nation two days ago but not a lot of echo of democrats or republicans speaking directly to the american people and the word of what is possible at any moment. let me play that and talk about that on the other side. >> this is as serious as it gets. i hope people understand. this is a world war ii style invasion of a massive land area in central europe. tanks, ballistic missiles, air strikes. if they actually go for kyiv from belarus you talk about thousands of casualties, innocent people dying, huge
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disruptions in the world economy and for nothing. this is pure naked aggression by a dictator in moscow. the president ral lied the allies an going to make you pay a price. we are not defenseless and will do it in a way that's smart and where we have the advantage and you will regret doing this. >> so, i have watched that a couple times now and stands out for me for the bluntness and calling out putin. in one party there's a willful effort to lull republicans and fox viewing conservatives into thinking that putin is a good guy. that is not the case. i wond every if the assessment to talk about where things are and what you think about the congressman's message there. >> i think it's a really important message for a couple reasons. first on the consequences.
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i think americans are used to hear about ukraine and russia and conflict and the reality is that the annexation of crimea didn't take long. this is concentrated. there have been 10,000 casualties. this would be something of exponentially more orders of magnitude. a land war like we haven't seen since the balkans or world war ii. and direct consequences to the american people because americans could die in that scale of invasion. president biden talked about that. the sanctions to impose on putin will have an impact on the global economy and the counter measures that putin to take to the sanctions could contribute to energy prices and
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inflationary prices and disruption. russian cyber attacks. this could be a conflict that doesn't feel nearly as distant as what we have felt in the past from circumstances in ukraine and yes why is this happening? this is happening for one reason. because there is a autd autocratic leader in vladimir putin to revise the security architecture in europe and he is hell bent on extinguishing democracy along his borders. it is a bigger threat than nato itself. at stake are the principles of the united states and the world we sought to spread over 70 years. >> ben, can you explain what secretary of state blinken and president biden in the sound we showed what they're talking
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about when they say that russia will manufacture a pretext for war? what might that look like? >> this is what they have done in the past. they justified the annexation of crimea after a pro russian leader dislodged from the presidency of ukraine in peaceful protest and said that nazis threatening ethnic russians in crimea. in eastern ukraine they acted like an indigenous uprising of russians to prevent domination by ukrainian nationalists and invent pretext and turbo charge it on the propaganda channels and what happened this time is the administration smartly is out in front of that constantly to make clear to the global audience inup and the allies and so far as they can reach the
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audience to russia if russia does this this is the decision of one man vladimir putin. what would he do if he's lost that capacity to control the information space? he wants to create the impression of i was pulling the troops back but then the incident happened and then we saw ethnic cleansing happening against ethnic russians and a pretext of invasion and why this announcement of de-escalation is spoishs. he will lie and with ease and wants to signal a de-escalation before a pretense that force it is hand. >> just tell us what you're watching for. the aerial footage. what will you watch for as americans head into a holiday weekend? what are the signs for flashing
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brighter red if you will? >> yeah. personally i don't expect him to do an all-out invasion. it is a disastrous decision for putin. he is well countered by nato's actions so i don't believe he'll give up. what's also at stake is who's next? the baltic and states and all are watching with some fear and trepidation because if putin gets away with sacking ukraine, they're next and they know it. so look. at the end of the day will the russians try this? they might. putin has control over the situation. he is a murderous thug. he kills opponents internally. murders people abroad that oppose him. conducted military operations in syria and georgia. did seize the crimea.
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there's a history of absolute use of state violence against individuals and adjoining states. we are in some peril. >> thank you so much for spending sometime with us on this time. a d.c. judge with a harsh rebuke for the rnc for calling the january 6 attack legitimate political discourse and calling out the doj for allowing that rhetoric to seep into plea deals. that is next. that is next with unitedhealthcare medicare advantage plans, you can take advantage of free eye exams and free designer eyewear. - wow. - uh-huh. free yearly eye exams, designer frames and prescription lenses.
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now to the investigation into the capitol insurrection. the federal judge in d.c. today making some news of her own calling out the justice department's handling of the prosecutions saying it caused confusion about the realities of that day. chief judge of d.c. district court cited the rnc line for the confusion. while slamming doj for allowing plea deals for things like picketing and parading. citing that they backed up bad faith arguments that it was a protest instead of a dangerous threat to the transfer of power. we are waiting for a judge to decide on the fate of a most profile cases. oath keeper's founder stewart
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rhodes. the judge with skepticism on the release. new evidence from yesterday's hearing suggest that the plot went beyond january 6. quote, prosecutors revealed that rhodes wrote in a group chat that january 6 could be the final nail in the coffin of the united states. trump quote must know if he fails to act we will. we will have no choice rhodes wrote. let's bring in justice reporter ryan riley. barbara is still here. take us inside the reporting on rhodes. >> yeah. what's interesting is prosecutors laid out the plot not necessarily depend ept upon trump's involvement and wrote it would be preferable for trump to join them and not necessarily like if he didn't go through this and do what they wanted him to do they would do it on their own and work to keep him in
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power on their own. they hoped to bring up militias to keep trump in power and the lawyers arguing that the quick reaction forces on january 6 there in case donald trump actually invoked the insurrection act. a bizarre argument to make. admitting a plan in place but oh trump didn't invoke the act so no harm, no foul and the argument that the defense lawyers were making in this case. >> they also seemed to suggest a regular line of communication and open line with the ex-president. barbara, i want to ask you about chief judge howell's comments and frustration about doj. what do you think is behind that? >> i can understand her frustration. there is a narrative that is
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pushed by the rnc and others what happened on january 6th is legitimate political discourse, peaceful protest and when the justice department charges some people there and who were inside with crimes like picketing or parading, it advances that false narrative so i think she is frustrated with that but there's a different role for the justice department and have to think about the docket management and same way if you hypothetically have been pulled over by a police officer for exceeding the speed limit, they may write the ticket for something lower than what you did maybe 20 miles over and write the for 5 or 10 over. why? to show mercy and leniency and part of it is really just a decision about case management. they can't handle every case going to trial and engage in
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some fiction for lesser crimes than they committed for someone to plead guilty and admit responsibility and move the case. they're looking to resolve the cases to focus on the higher cases. garland said we're working the way up. sometimes for cooperation from people. but i do agree with the judge that it does create and advance the narrative of protest going on that day and the justice department has to think beyond the narrative. they can push back on the other branch. >> i guess i'm skeptical that that's doj's explanation here because there is a crush of written and spoken assessments from judges looking at these cases on the part of the justice department expressing effect
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from outright disdain to grave concern that the people creating the lies and incentivizing are still engaging in that. what do you make of the disposition of this sort of dynamic between the judges hearing the cases and the folks making charging decisions? >> that's an ongoing theme to see. we saw it when politicians use language that's inappropriate calling them tourists. with the settlement agreements you have to wonder whether doj will revisit and didn't let people go with the parading and picketing charge because that doesn't accurately describe the conduct necessarily. other charges in that misdemeanor category to apply and basically gave people the pick of the litter. of course if you choose from
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that selection that charge is one to go with sounding the most minor. same in the speeding ticket you go with whatever sounds the least bad. it doesn't accurately describe the conduct. i do think you have to recognize the collateral consequences are significant and a lot of judges take into effect. most misdemeanor defendants going through the media wringer as they are and that's the case here and factoring that into the sentence and not seeing as much time in prison that people are -- some people are wanting. >> nbsz's ryan riley and barbara mcquaid, thank you so much. another big legal setback for trump and two oldest kids and business. they will have to answer for finances under oath after a bad
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let's bring into our conversation someone who has predicted this might be the fate that befalls donald trump for years now, donny deutsch, host of the podcast, "on brand." i remember, imprinted on my brain, you sitting around the table saying that the businesses would be the thing that would draw potential legal fire to trump. here we are. is this how you thought it would happen? >> yeah. i had even mentioned the rico act or racketeering influence corrupt organization act and that still could happen, which is basically that even if you can't get to the guy directly with his hands on the switches, if the entire organization is corrupt, it goes back and you go after the individuals. look, this has been a bad, bad week for trump. you know, when you go back to what happened with the accounting firm, mazars, just so people understand how this could possibly happen. there are three types of audits. i mean, there are three types of financial statements that accounting firms do. there are audits, which are very, very precise.
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there were reviews, which basically you take the information and they kind of do some checks and whatnot, and then there's compilations, which these probably were, where they were probably just used everything trump gave them, they took at face value and obviously now the rubber has hit the road so that has gone by the wayside. but look, particularly what happened with that, if you can now -- any of the banks, basically, can call back their loans right now. he's got almost $600 million in loans due in the next four or five years and in just about any loan stipulation or agreement, there's a stipulation that says if any of this information that you borrowed money on is false, we can call back the collateral. now, banks aren't necessarily so quick to do that because they don't want to put the company out of business and all of a sudden they don't get their money back, but this has certainly not been a good week for trump. >> you know, i've asked you this on multiple occasions. michael cohen, though, testified publicly about these practices, and donald trump lied publicly and brazenly about his worth all the time, even said that he
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decides based on how he feels how much he's worth. what is your sense from michael cohen's testimony about where this investigation turned into criminal stance? >> it's criminal when he lies on a bank and insurance, where it's very criminal if you basically go for a loan and you say a property is worth x and they give you money based on that and at the end of the day, the property is -- any valuation is worth x minus 50%, and the same thing with insurance on the flip side. if you inflate things to get insurance. these are criminal acts that you go to jail for, that anybody would go to jail for. so, it's these things, it's either inflating or deflating values of things in order to get appropriate business interactions you want. >> ivanka raises my interest today. is she has branded herself as sort of above the seedy, dark, and dirty way that trump did
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business and she's right here in the middle of it. >> yeah. i mean, the kids are going to be tied up. i've said this many times on the show. if you go up to the trump organization, it's not a sprawling empire. it's a bunch of crappy little offices right next to each other, don junior is right next to donald trump and ivanka's on the other side and there's weisselberg and there's michael cohen. it's a crappy little licensing company so they are very intertwined. these kids knew exactly what was going on. they had hands on anything. and you mentioned the word "brand." it's so ironic how ivanka trump went into the presidency with this ivanka brand and she was in jewelry. to say that the ivanka brand is dead is an understatement. >> it's amazing, and an amazing week. we're so glad we get to talk to you about it. donny deutsch, you were right again. thank you for spending time with us. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. stay with us. ite house" starts quick break. quick break. stay with us
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so, let me make this simple. the russian government can announce today with no qualification, equivocation or deflection that russia will not invade ukraine. state it clearly. state it plainly to the world. and then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to their barracks and hangars and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table. in the coming days, the world will remember that commitment. or the refusal to make it.
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>> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east, a stark message there to russia from secretary of state tony blinken. today, in front of the entire world. speaking at the u.n. security council, a detour he made en route to munich to showcase the united states's increased concern that an invasion of ukraine is imminent and to forcefully challenge russia to end its aggressions. blinken and president biden today warning that russia is trying to create a false pretext for an attack. earlier, we saw what ukrainian president zelensky called a big provocation by pro-russian forces in his country as a kindergarten and other buildings in ukraine were hit with mortar shells. fortunately, no one was killed. russia then blamed kyiv for increasing tensions. as the white house warns an invasion could come in the next several days, blinken strongly voiced his desire to resolve things without any violence, without an attack, saying he
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will leave no diplomatic stone unturned and requesting a meeting next week with his russian counterpart, sergei lavrov. but today, we also saw russia put up a road bloc in the face of those diplomatic hopes. in a written response to the united states's response to russia's security demands, moscow insists, quote, there is no russian invasion of ukraine. and says that its proposals for a freeze on nato expansion were ignored. the possibly imminent attack on ukraine by russia is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. nbc news correspondent erin mclaughlin is live in kyiv and "wall street journal" moscow bureau chief ann simmons joins us, a long-time student of russia, she previously worked in moscow for "time" magazine. i want to start with what's happening on the ground and this sort of explanation that's been thrown around here about a false pretext. that is very real on the ground in ukraine, and erin, i wonder if you can tell us what happened
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earlier today and what the reaction is in ukraine. >> reporter: well, nicole, i've been speaking to ukrainians here in kyiv about what secretary blinken had to say at the united nations earlier today. and so far, they remain resolute in the face of yet another dire assessment from washington. i was texting with a former zelensky advisor who said, look, it's our land, our home, we stay, we fight if we have to. plain and simple. and that's a sentiment that's been echoed by any number of ukranians that i have reached out to in the past few hours. yes, the ukrainian government has long been downplaying this threat, saying that ukraine has a very different intelligence assessment, but the ordinary ukrainians, the experts here that i have been speaking to, are taking this extraordinarily seriously. at the same time, you don't see people panicking.
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you see people remaining calm. there's no run on the supermarkets. the store shelves are fully stocked. you don't see lines at the gas stations. yes, some people are evacuating. yes, some people are sending their children to the western portion of the country, but for the most part, people are staying here and remaining calm. what you do see is a run at the gun shops. gun stores say they're running out of ammunition because people are arming and preparing to defend themselves, and they're looking at the situation in the eastern portion of the country. it's a war that has been raging now for some eight years, and today, we saw yet another escalation with the ukrainian military blaming the russian-backed separatists and the russian-backed separatists blaming the ukrainian military. there was an artillery round fired at a kindergarten school in the government-controlled portion of luhansk, something that ukrainian government says it released video of, showing the attack, saying that children
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had to be evacuated from that building just minutes before that artillery round struck. now, we have not seen any independent confirmation from the ose, no independent confirmation of our own of exactly what took place there, but it certainly illustrates the escalation that we're seeing now in the east, an escalation that ordinary ukrainians over the past eight years have grown accustomed to, and now are preparing for an even greater threat, nicole. >> erin, our colleague, richard engel, had reported about a week and a half ago that president zelensky was exasperated by the biden administration's rapid collection analysis and release of intelligence about what russia -- what russian troops are doing along their border and other intelligence that gets disseminated publicly as an effort to avert war. what is the sense from zelensky now about how the u.s. and
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allies are conducting their efforts to avert that worst case scenario there? >> yeah, president zelensky has certainly not hid his frustrations with the way washington has handled its intelligence gathering but in recent days, i have noticed a marked change in his tone. he's now touring the country. he declared a unity day yesterday. he appears to be taking this situation extraordinarily seriously, and speaking to ukrainian experts and others here in kyiv, they have been critical, actually, in conversations i have had with president zelensky's response saying that he should have done more to sort of meet the west halfway on this and done more to prepare people for this threat, nicole. >> erin mclaughlin, live in kyiv, thank you so much for your reporting. stay safe. ann, let me come to you on what is the most opaque and unpredictable actor in all of this. tell me your understanding of
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the latest from moscow. >> well, certainly, the kremlin is pushing back and saying that it still does not intend to invade. obviously, that's sending a very mixed signal because on the one hand, the kremlin has said that they are withdrawing some troops from ukrainian border, but western intelligence shows that, in fact, there has been an increase. president putin has made clear that his red line is ukraine joining nato. and today, the russians gave a response to the u.s. response to their security demands and said that they're basically inadequate because the u.s., they say, has ignored all of their concerns. those concerns, of course, include an expansion of nato towards the east and to include ukraine. nato activity in countries that the russians feel are their
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traditional sphere of influence, and other demands, and so there's very much this sense that the russians have been dismissed, and their concerns ignored. >> and ann, is that their rationale, publicly, and/or privately, for the expulsion of the american diplomat today? >> it's really unclear what led to that, but the -- there has been kind of tit-for-tat expulsions in the past several months. the russians have made very clear that they will retaliate in terms of education pulgss of diplomats, if their diplomats are expelled, they will turn around and do the same. tensions are really high and they've reached kind of boiling point. it's critical -- the u.s. has said it's critical to get back to the negotiating table. the russians have said, yes, they are also willing to negotiate, but at the same time, they feel they're not being
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listened to. >> what is the disconnect here, ann? they want it to be on the table that nato is dissolved? i mean, what is the credible and realistic thing they would like america to negotiate on? >> well, for the russians, they've made clear that the red line is that they want written security guarantees. they want something that's binding, because the kremlin has said that for the last several years, russia has been trying to convince nato and the u.s. that basically, you know, they are concerned about a build-up of nato's presence in russia's backyard. so, the russians have really felt that that -- that is what they want, and certainly there's no concession on that front. what might be a diplomatic off-ramp is whether the minsk agreement are fulfilled, and this is something that the kremlin has been extremely
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determined to see fulfilled. this minsk agreement was a cease-fire agreement that was enacted in 2015, in addition to a cease-fire, one of the main aspects of this agreement is that the donbas region of eastern ukraine, the two breakaway republics, donbas and luhansk, they basically get some kind of special status, and then that would allow them to kind of have a measure of independence but also have a say in how the ukrainian constitution is organized and have some kind of influence over government there as well. and by extent, by an extension, that could mean that the kremlin would also have certain sway over ukraine. >> we are so grateful to get to talk to you. ann simmons, thank you so much for spending some time with us tonight. >> thank you. joining us now is the u.s.
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ambassador to the united nations, ambassador linda thomas green field. ambassador, i know it was your request that secretary of state antony blinken travel to munich. tell us about the importance of what he said today and the reaction behind the scenes, if you would. >> look, i think that the gravity of the situation on the ground in ukraine really made sense for us to have the secretary of state, the u.s. top diplomat, come to the security council and deliver the statement that he made today. i think there was tremendous support for him being there, tremendous respect by other members of the security council, that he had taken the time to come, and i think they heard his message, and they were also concerned with what they heard him share with us very openly in the security council. >> i want to play some of what
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he said in the security council, and then i'm going to ask you about this strategy of releasing all the intelligence once we've collected it and verified it. that seems to be possibly one of the most novel and effective tools in the united states' arsenal. let's watch first. >> this crisis directly affects every member of this council and every country in the world. because the basic principles that sustain peace and security, principles that were enshrined in the wake of two world wars and a cold war are under threat. the principle that one country cannot change the borders of another by force. the principle that one country cannot dictate another's choices or policies or with whom it will associate. the principle of national sovereignty. this is the exact kind of crisis that the united nations and
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specifically this security council was created to prevent. >> so first, share with us any reaction that you heard, maybe not on camera, to his very blunt words in a body that isn't always quick to move and respond, and just talk about the strategy of collecting, analyzing, and releasing all the intelligence that we gather with the hope and goal of averting war. >> well, first, there were lots of nodding of heads as he gave his statement. and we communicate with each other in the security council on our whatsapp and i was getting one message after another from colleagues around the table, thanking him for the strong message that he delivered today. now, the strategy is about transparency. it's about sharing with the world, sharing with the american people, american citizens in
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ukraine and the ukrainians what we are seeing and the gravity of the situation on the ground and why we are taking this situation so seriously. and i think that has worked. it has worked, one, to give pause, i think, to the russians on taking action so quickly. but it's also raised the profile of this issue with other countries who initially saw this as a conflict between russia and the united states, and what the secretary said very clearly today, this is about the united nations. it's about the security council's responsibility. it's about the u.n. charter and about the sovereignty and the integrity of a border of an independent country and their right to choose who they will associate with. the message was very well received. >> lieutenant colonel alexander
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vindman has been perhaps the most blunt and the most publicly alarmed for the longest amount of time on this program about the horrors of what could come to pass if russia doesn't heed the warnings of the diplomatic community, a ground war the likes of which we haven't seen in europe since world war ii. the u.n. obviously has responsibilities when it comes to refugee and food and others. can you tell us if preparations are being made for a ground war in europe? >> we started consultations with the u.n. humanitarian agencies several months ago to ensure that they have contingency plans in place to deal with the kind of humanitarian crisis that we see happening should russia make the decision to invade ukraine further. and i think those agencies are prepared. they have pulled together their contingency plans. they are working with neighboring countries where
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refugees are likely to flow into, and they will provide the humanitarian assistance that's needed. the u.s., as you know, we are the largest contributor to humanitarian assistance programs, and our humanitarian organs within the u.s. government, such as usaid, have also made preparations to support these agencies as if the situation requires it. >> and can you just take us inside what the last-minute diplomacy looks like at the u.n.? i mean, for people who don't understand, you walk around not very vast areas with the diplomats from countries, our allies and our not-so-allies or adversaries. can you just take us inside what this last-minute diplomacy in hopes of diverting a humanitarian crisis and war looks like? >> we're 15 members of the security council, the key five plus an elected ten members. i'm engaged with all of them on
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a regular basis. i can tell you that this morning, i sent a message to all of them to let them know that secretary blinken was going to be speaking at the conference and gave them a bit of a hint of what to expect from the secretary. i shared with them that the secretary had written a letter to foreign minister lavrov, asking for diplomatic meeting, and basically saying to them that we're leaning in on diplomacy, and i also have made the point over and over again to our colleagues that this is not a cold war confrontation between russia and the united states. this is about the u.n. charter. it's about the values that we all have signed on to, to be members of the security council, and that they couldn't sit on the sidelines on this. they can't take a middle road.
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there's no neutrality when it comes to a country's border being threatened, as ukraine is being threatened, and i have reminded all of them that they should think about how they would feel if they had 100,000 troops on their borders. so, it is -- it's a very collegial environment that we work in, but we know that once we sit at that table, we have to represent our countries' interests and the interests of the u.n. charter and our responsibilities for peace and security around the globe. >> ambassador linda thomas-greenfield, at the end of a very busy day, i'm sure it's not the end of your day, thank you for spending time with us today. we're grateful. >> thank you very much. when we come back, shifting gears, the next steps for the investigation into the january 6th insurrection. one of the leading reporters covering that investigation and the house committee leading it will be our guests to talk about
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where things are heading in the days and weeks to come. plus, fred guttenberg will join us. of course, he lost his daughter jamie four years ago this week in the horrific shooting at marjory stoneman douglas high school. we'll get his perspective about gun violence and gun safety measures. and political primary season is about to get under way. with it, the possibility of an even further lurch to the loony far right by the republican party, thanks in large part to the twice-impeached disgraced ex-president. we'll tell you about it. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. ut it. "deadline white house" continues "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. your dell technologies advisor can help you find the right tech solutions. so you can stop at nothing for your customers. ♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪
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we have media personalities. you have current and former members of congress. you have a whole host of people that we're familiar with in this plot and this scenario who are just bombarding the former chief of staff with this information. you can see personal connections. you can see relationships, who was asking for favors. it really does provide an insight into how the trump white house was functioning and who had access to the people closest to the president. so, it's incredibly useful for the committee to have this information. >> that's january 6th select committee member congresswoman elaine on the thousands of frantic text messages that one-time chief of staff mark meadows received leading up to and on the day of the insurrection, january 6th. it's just the latest reporting by our friend and now our official colleague, jackie of
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the "washington post," whose incredible overview explains how the panicked texts are helping the committee piece together the events surrounding the attack and further showing the undeniable evidence the committee is getting from even the most uncooperative of witnesses. people like mark meadows. and it follows more than a week after stunning reports by alemany and her colleagues and other news outlets about trump's mishandling of official documents and the growing sense of urgency by the committee and the biden administration as we now await public hearings the committee says it is crafting to catch and hold people's attention while it reveals what it has learned. joining us now is the "washington post's" jackie alemany, who we are very happy to welcome to -- i guess all families are wild and unwieldy, but we're very happy you're part of ours as an msnbc contributor. >> thank you so much, nicole, and thanks for showcasing and boosting all our reporting. it's much appreciated. >> well, it's the best thing going, and your reporting on the
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text messages are no exception, and i have to say, take any event, i mean, and i always worked in the white house on 9/11, so for me, i went back to that day, you take any historic event and you want to know what was happening in the white house, you would wish, first, second, and third for a copy of every message sent and received by the white house chief of staff. that would tell you what was happening. you did a deep dive into some previously unreported messages. tell us what you learned. >> yeah, that's exactly right. these text messages, some of which actually had already been revealed by the committee themselves, but i think have been sort of lost in the swirl of conversation, the american public and a lot of journalists for that matter haven't been paying as close attention to the investigation as you or i and other people who are on this beat, so pulling it all together, along with some of the new reporting, including that mark meadows was in touch with people like lawyer mitchell who was involved with a lot of the local and state efforts to
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overturn the results of the election and project veritas president and founder james o'keefe. i think helps people understand the direction the committee is going in and also just the depths and the various layers of all of the efforts to overturn the results of the election. mark meadows, yes, he has not cooperated with the committee in terms of providing a deposition or an interview. he's been voted to be held in criminal contempt. that's a referral we have not seen the doj make a decision on yet, but his text messages have been, perhaps, the most valuable item handed over to the committee. he has done them a favor in that regard. it's sort of the connective tissue that has allowed for really the forensic analysis of the social network that mark meadows had. it was a sprawling one. and a lot of different people, a lot of different outside groups and lawyers, conspiracy theorists and whatnot, had their tentacles all the way into the white house in order to share the various plans and schemes that were coming up with to
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support the former president's quest to overturn the results of the election. >> your reporting has an anecdote about the founder of project veritas, james o'keefe, texting the white house chief of staff that day. we've also learned that the committee is going to potentially receive, in an expedited fashion, the kinds of documents that might help them piece together who was at least connected to who in terms of what phone numbers were talking to what phone numbers. i know it's always unclear who's talking on them when it comes to the trump oval office, but just talk about the combination of the substance of the meadows texts with the overlay of what those call logs and potentially visitor logs will give the committee. >> yeah, i think what the visitors logs can do is further connect former president trump directly to these efforts. we know that the former president -- bertha, shh -- she always gets really loud when
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you're on, specifically, nicole. >> it's okay. it's okay. >> we know that mark meadows was sort of the gatekeeper, so to speak, but we don't know who exactly the president actually was meeting with and speaking with himself and what schemes he was actively sort of blessing through mark meadows, and so i think these visitors logs are going to be really illuminating into who was actually going into the oval office. a lot of that was captured by our very talented photographers, people like mike lindell, who was bringing in very obvious sheets of paper, listing various names of people that we have reported on, but we don't know the full extent of it. that being said, this is also a president that as we well know has subverted a lot of the processes that were in place to keep track of this, to create a historic report of what exactly he was up to, and it's possible that those logs might not bring as much clarity as people are hoping and at the end of the day, you know, there might be
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more candid and helpful information in these ephemeral text messages that are being turned over by mark meadows but also by other people. there are thousands more than mark meadows' text messages that the committee has obtained. >> yeah, i mean, we talk about the folks that are potentially faces criminal contempt charges but we don't talk enough about the folks who are not. they include the chief of staff to the vice president, the chief counsel to the vice president, they include the press secretary to the president. i wonder, though, if you can talk about the other side of the ledger. what remains on the wish list for this committee in terms of either a member, not one of the most vocal sort of traveling to mar-a-lago on their weekends kind of republicans, like the kevin mccarthy, jim jordan, but are there people on sort of the outside ring who now see how much information, who may have some personal relationships with mike pence or are there other republican members that they have reached out to quietly to understand what was known by
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those republican members as the insurrection unfolded? >> so, that is an answer -- that is a question i don't have a clear answer to, but you're very right to point out that we all should be sorted sort of looking in corners where we're not hearing the loudest voices from. of course, we hear a lot from the people who are refusing to testify or cooperate in some regard, mark meadows, scott perry, jim jordan, ivanka trump, also, has been asked to cooperate. peter navarro. but that -- they are outliers for the most part. there are hundreds of people who have voluntarily cooperated, and who we haven't heard from, and in the case of people that we haven't heard from, it's probably more likely than not that they're keeping a low profile because they have to some extent been forced to cooperate with the committee, one, because they are lower level staff, they can't afford these legal bills, quite frankly, and also they don't want this stain of having a subpoena or maybe potentially even being held in criminal contempt on their record,
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especially these younger folks who are new in their careers and potentially have a long career in politics ahead of them. but that's why i think the mark meadows contempt referral is going to be increasingly important, especially as merrick garland continues to be silent on it, because if you talk to lawmakers, they'll say that steve bannon's contempt prosecution, the doj ultimately taking up that referral, actually had a positive effect and impact on getting other players to cooperate, and with these outstanding lists of people who have yet to cooperate, people who were very close to the former president, there is a feeling, maybe, that that would get sort of the remaining people to buck up and do the right thing. >> so now that you are our colleague, two things to put on our to-do list. one, my dog was howling during the beginning of this hour, so we'll let them talk to one another on a slow news day. and two, i mean, i'm always
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cognizant of congressman jamie raskin's articulation of the three rings and i think now that we have you on board to sort of go through, maybe step back and spend some time on one of these programs to go through and sort of lay out what we know in all three of those rings, that the inner circle, the folks around trump, the doj effort the rioters themselves and sort of the people caught up in the activity. it seems like a lot of progress has been made since we've looked at that wholistically. >> it really has been and i think that some people mistake, again, the quietness from the committee and maybe the lack of news that's coming out as a lack of urgency or a feeling that maybe not a lot is being accomplished, but i think that is the opposite. that's the part of the strategy they have here. they've learned from the mueller report and from sort of the constant drip of information leaking out and how it might not be that productive in terms of the end goal here, which is putting out some tangible
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recommendations to prevent something like this from ever happening again, along with a report that hopefully is accessible, readable, digestible, and that appeals to the broader american public and maybe even changes some minds, including the minds of people who don't believe that january 6th actually happened. but one of these rings that i think we don't talk about enough, although you, nicole, because you're so in the weeds on this, i think you do and recognize how important this is, is that outer ring of the actual insurrectionists. yes, of course, the people who are in power need to be held accountable. we should be on them every day, but i'm also really interested in sort of the soccer moms who became oath keepers and the depositions and interviews that they've been giving. some of those are already public because they've spoken with the doj, but the committee is in touch with these people too and lawmakers are especially interested in learning the perspectives of people like that and how to prevent -- how to create a profile of sort of the modern domestic radicalized
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american and how to prevent more and more people from following their lead. >> no, and at the end of the day, in securing the country, it may be the most important aspect of their work. jackie alemany, thank you so much, and welcome to the family again. it's so great to have you. thank you. >> thank you. you're awesome. thank you so much. when we come back, we will be joined by one of our most favorite people to talk to on any occasion, but especially this week. fred guttenberg, who has been fighting for gun safety legislation since losing his daughter, jamie, in the marjory stoneman douglas shooting four years ago this week. n the marjyr stoneman douglas shooting four stoneman douglas shooting four years ago this week. your dell technologies advisor can help you find the right tech solutions. so you can stop at nothing for your customers.
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as many of you may already know, earlier this week, the country and the families of the victims marked the four-year anniversary of the tragic, horrific shooting at the marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, which left 14 students and 3 faculty members dead. while little has been done by legislators to rein in gun violence in the past four years in america, a landmark settlement by remington arms with the families of sandy hook victims, which we brought you yesterday, has brought a glimmer of hope that gun violence could be curbed through private legal action. joining us for the conversation, fred guttenberg. his daughter, jamie, was killed in the parkland school shooting. fred, i know you remember her every day, but you had an epic
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20-tweet thread. i want to read from some of it before we start and then the floor will be yours. you wrote this. for the past four years, i find myself asking what if every minute of every day. what if you were sick that morning and we never sent you to school? what would your day have been like then? would fate have intervened some other way or would you now be the beautiful 18-year-old teenager living her best life at the university of florida? what if this country genuinely and truly prioritized life and reducing gun violence before february 14, 2018. what if efforts to reduce gun violence had been passed after any of the other shootings that came before this? what if america understood before you were killed or even today that reducing gun violence is a public health issue and not a second amendment issue? what if, because of that, instead of becoming a symbol for the failure of america to protect life, fate had intervened in a different way and made you a fighter for others? what if america learned from its
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prior mistakes, it is never too late to change from what if to what is and finally do something about gun violence. doing so now may save the life of the person you love so that you don't spend the rest of your life wondering, what if? and i have to say, fred, i have read it four times. this is the first time i've done so without crying. it's beautiful, and it is to all of us to decide what is. >> last week, my wife and i were struggling, because for some reason, we expected this year may have felt a little bit easier, but it wasn't. and it really hit me, for us, this is always going to be about moving forward, but not moving on. and as i've told you before, nicole, the way i kind of go through my grief is i write, and
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i just started writing this message to shake people, because i want people to know, i don't hate guns. i don't hate gun owners. i don't hate the second amendment. i hate gun violence. i hate that we, as a country, keep asking the wrong questions. that prevent us from doing anything. this is not something that we have to live with. you mentioned in your opening about the sandy hook settlement. it is such a big deal, because it is time to hold the people accountable who market these weapons in a way where they're no longer marketing guns. they are marketing death, and they know it. but that gives them the ability to sell more guns. what if we change course now? >> but fred, i guess what i
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ended up with, and i'm going to have to ask you how you wrote the line about, you know, what if you were an 18-year-old and i like the optimism of going to college locally. we're going to have to talk about that in a second. but why even 85% who support gun safety laws at the federal level have to fight and scrap for these little pieces of victory when it is what the majority wants? why are we on that side? >> oh, nicole, listen, and i watch your show every day, this country's screwed up right now because what the majority wants is not what washington, d.c., is delivering. and i don't see gun violence as a partisan issue. however, i do blame a specific party. we have a nongoverning party right now in washington, d.c., and listen, if you would have told me four years ago, when my daughter was killed, that we'd have a president who would sign
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gun safety legislation, a house of representatives that is debating and passing legislation, and a senate that's at 50/50, i would have told you, no way would we be in this strong a position to finally pass something. but we are. we're two votes away. two votes, we break the filibuster and we get this done. but because of the way d.c. is functioning right now, because of the fact that you have those on the other party who are politicizing death, who are prepared to do nothing because it serves their purpose, even if americans die, it's hard. we are closer than we've ever been to passing this stuff. we're also closer than we've ever been to permanently losing the chance, and we better not mess it up in the '22 vote. >> and you're right. there is -- there are not many issues with more public support for action, not for taking away the second amendment but for gun safety action.
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it's over 80%. i do want to read this line back to you, though. i want to talk about it. "what would your day have been like? would fate have intervened some other way? would you now be the beautiful 18-year-old teenager living her best life at the university of florida?" was that her plan? >> it was. my daughter had a plan to go to the university of florida, just like her mother. she wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist. she already knew all of her local friends that she was going to go with. my daughter had her life figured out, you know? the reason why the last photo on that thread was of her holding her cousin is because i looked at that photo, and i thought of the fact that my daughter wanted to be a mother of two kids. and i saw that mothering in her holding that photo. she's never going to get that chance. i'm never going to get the chance to be a grandparent to her kids, to walk her down the aisle.
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i wrote about it in the thread. i need people to know this. as a parent, i dreamt every day of walking my daughter down the aisle. and now i go to sleep every night hoping she died instantly, because if she didn't, she suffered, and america needs to get this -- our failure only means the person you love is next in line to be killed. i don't want that to happen to your family. >> one of your gifts to the country is the language of grief that you share and that you share with us, and i want to ask you how you're doing on the other side of a break. i'm going to welcome in matthew dowd as well. we'll have that conversation in just a moment. stay with us. l have that conve just m aoment. stay with us.
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million people. that's pain and it should be talked about, and we need to do a better job. but what you and your family endured is sort of punched in the neck so you can't talk or speak grief, and somehow, you don't just have rallied to cou this cause. i would like to understand where that comes from. and how you do that. >> first, hello, matt. >> hey, fred. you're the best, man. you are the best. >> i appreciate that. you know, nicolle, i -- people always ask me or say to me, i can't imagine how you feel. and i don't know what else to do except spend my life helping them to imagine exactly what i feel. because i want them to do something about it. you know, when my daughter was
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killed, four months before that, my brother died of cancer related to his service in 9/11, i often talked back then about having the two strongest people on my shoulders pushing me forward. and that's what they do. i want the country to know how i feel, not because i want to punish gun owners, but just like everyone, i don't want them to be victims of gun violence either. and this is something that we can do something about. if we, this is why the what-if question matters to me so deeply. if we can change the way we talk about this stuff, and if we can talk honestly, and if we can talk emotionally, and if we can connect with one another, doing something about gun violence and saving lives shouldn't be political. it just shouldn't be. i don't want it to be. and so i want people to join me. i want people to feel what i
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feel because i want theme fight for those they love as well. >> and matt, you're here because you have these conversations on an emotional level, which i think what fred is explaining in the political arena if i understand is that if you feel this and you're a parent or a child or an aunt or a grandmother, or you love a parent or a child or an aunt or a grandmother, then it's obvious what you do. you make sure that no little girl or boy goes to school and risks being slaughtered by gun violence. and i think, matt, what you talk about all the time is sort of, we cut out the emotions in some of our debates. if you deal with them and go to people on an emotional level, then some of these seemingly intractable debates get solved. >> well, you know, and fred and i have become friends off media, on social media and email, and he knows as well as you know, i'm not in the tragic way he
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did, i lost a daughter 18 years ago, right? never leaves you. and when you do that, you have a choice. and fred has chosen the choice of honor and purpose and service, because it's very easy when your heart is broken and you live through a day of darkness to turn it off and just become cynical, become jaded, and just let -- and just detach yourself from others. and fred has chosen, which very few do in our world, which is a path of purpose, a path of light, a path of love. that's really that's at the basis of this, because of his care, not only for his lost daughter, but for care of others. it's a difficult thing, but it's a thing we ought to honor. you know, i'm a gun owner. i own five guns. i'm 1,000% with fred. 1,000% with fred. this is not about the second amendment. this is about a life issue.
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this is about a care for one another issue. in 2020, the last data we had, 45,000 americans died from gun violence. 45,000. americans died. it's the highest number we have ever hit and the highest jump from a previous year we haven't hit. we know what to do. the country wants to do it. gun owners, the majority of gun owners like me want to do it. simple basic things that will save lives, save our children, make them safe in school, all of that. but we don't seem right now to have a political system that has the will and the courage of somebody like fred who has went through a tragedy that i would not wish on my worst enemy, but came through it with a bigger heart and a greater leadership into the light than any other human being i know. gone through that broken heartedness, knowing the feeling of it, not in his way.
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so bravo to him. and shame, shame on the politicians in washington who are unwilling to look people in the eye and do something about it in such an easy way. in such an easy way. >> fred, i know a lot about jamie. i know she was a dancer. i now know that with certainty she would not have left your time zone, would not have left florida, she would have gone to college right there. tell me something else about her. >> listen, i'll tell you what made me most proud of her. my daughter was only 14. but she had this, this fight for others. i always told my children, do what's right, nots what easy. you can always live with yourself when you're doing what's right.
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and my daughter, it didn't matter who it was, she saw someone being bullied, and she was a petite little thing, but she stepped in the middle of it to make it stop. she volunteered her time for kids with special needs. it's part of why she also wanted to pursue that as a career. she just wanted everyone to be treated the same. nobody to be left out. and that's who she was. that's the life that she lived. she would go to dance and work her tail off to dance. come home, study hard at night, and when she wasn't dancing and wasn't studying, she was volunteering. and the world lost somebody who had so much to offer. and i know i'm saying this as a dad, and other parents feel this way about their children, but if you do feel this way about your children, then join me. do this. and commit in '22 to voting for
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people who want to reduce gun violence. because if you don't, we may lose the chance after that. let's make sure we get this right. >> fred and matt, thank you both so much for having this conversation with us. it's truly, truly an honor. a quick break for us. we'll be right back. we'll be right back.
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thank you so much for being with us today. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, nicolle. thank you. welcome to "the beat." we begin with breaking news on a new and major trump legal loss. a new york judge has just ordered donald trump late today to testify, in fact, what we have here is not something you see every day for former presidents. it is a major ruling, it just came down. and it means donald trump has lost again. this time, losing a bid to try to duck questioning under oath in the open new york trump org
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